Emperor – Anthony Toner

'Emperor' is the new stripped back album by Northern Ireland's Anthony Toner. It presents some of his best known work in the most intimate way.


Anthony Toner

  • Americana
  • Folk

  1. Well Well Well
  2. The Road To Fivemiletown
  3. Exit Wounds
  4. The Way Love Goes
  5. Boy Struck By Lightening
  6. Sailortown
  7. An Alphabet
  8. Grateful
  9. Cousins At Funerals
  10. Conversations With A Huricane
  11. Cathy
  12. Miles And Weather

Mining his extensive back catalogue, Anthony Toner has picked twelve of his best known songs for his thirteenth album release. Re-recording them with just an acoustic guitar and his vocal, the songs will be familiar to anyone who attended on his concerts over the years.

Stripped naked, Toner’s songs are at their best.  The heartbreak  of broken dreams described within ‘The Road To Fivemiletown’ is haunting.  The near spoken word version of ‘Exit Wounds’ is disturbing and enthralling as it details a childhood experience in Northern Ireland’s troubled past.

Produced by regular Toner cohort, Clive Culbertson, the music is warm and personal. In places it’s all to easy to imagine Toner sitting strumming away in the corner of the room, such is the intimacy captured on the recording.

Working his lyrical magic, Toner often draws inspiration from every day experience.  ‘Cousins At Funerals’ demonstrates this in a way we can all relate to. One of his best known songs, ‘Sailortown’ and it’s tale of innocence and early love also speaks to many.  And, anyone who hasn’t been through the hurt detailed in ‘The Way Love Goes’, has never been in love.

At times it’s easy to imagine Toner’s lyrics stripped of all music would stand on their own as poetry.  His touching ‘An Alphabet’ plays on words in a simple, yet clever way as he was forced to deal with his Father’s dementia.  It’s one his songs that to this day remains his most heart wrenching.

More than a compilation, ‘Emperor’ is a stunning showcase for an emotive body of work delivered by one of the best contemporary songwriters in Northern Ireland today.  Stripped of their finery, these songs, though well worn, prove they are ageless and authentic.